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NBA Standings: Hawks on shaky ground following Paul Millsap’s injury

Hawks need Paul Millsap to get healthy quickly.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks will open a three-game road trip Monday in Charlotte without two key players. Atlanta will be without forward Paul Millsap for at least the next two games due to stiffness in his knee. Kent Bazemore will be out for at least a week due to a bone bruise in his right knee that he suffered late in Saturday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

That places the Hawks in a bit of a precarious situation with 13 games remaining in the regular season. Millsap is the most critical loss as Atlanta has gone 0-5 without him and haven’t been competitive in many of those games. While Bazemore hasn’t taken the step forward that many were looking for from him, he is still integral part of their wing rotation and his loss will hurt them on the defensive end of the floor.

Atlanta enters Monday’s game in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings 3.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors. Atlanta is two games ahead of sixth place Indiana in the standings.

Eastern Conference Standings

Team W L Pct GB L10 Streak
Team W L Pct GB L10 Streak
*1. Boston 52 29 642 - 7-3 W2
*2. Cleveland 51 30 .630 1 4-6 L3
*3. Toronto 50 31 .617 1.5 8-2 W3
*4. Washington 49 32 .605 3 6-4 W1
*5. Atlanta 42 38 .525 9.5 5-5 W3
*6. Milwaukee 42 39 .519 10 6-4 W2
7. Indiana 41 40 .506 11 5-5 W4
8. Chicago 40 41 .494 12 7-3 W1
Miami 40 41 .494 12 5-5 W2
Detroit 37 44 .457 15 3-7 L1
Charlotte 36 45 .444 16 4-6 L4
New York 30 51 .370 22 3-7 L3
Orlando 28 53 .346 24 2-8 L2
Philadelphia 28 53 .346 24 2-8 L7
Brooklyn 20 61 .247 32 5-5 L1

Milwaukee is three back of Atlanta while Detroit and Miami are just 3.5 back. The Hawks don’t seem to be in any danger of falling out of the postseason picture at this point as long as Millsap is able to return sooner rather than later.

Atlanta will play in Charlotte on Monday, at Washington on Wednesday and in Milwaukee on Friday on this current trip. Atlanta dropped the first two meetings with the Hornets this season. The Wizards have ascended into the top half of the East standings while the Bucks have found themselves at the right time it seems are once again looking like a playoff team.

Hawks remaining schedule

Date Opponent Time
Date Opponent Time
Saturday, April 1 at Bulls 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 2 at Nets 6:00 PM
Thursday, April 6 vs Celtics 8:00 PM
Friday, April 7 at Cavaliers 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 9 vs Cavaliers 3:30 PM
Tuesday, April 11 vs Hornets 7:30 PM
Wednesday, April 12 at Pacers 8:00 PM

The schedule will lighten after the road trip as Atlanta will face Brooklyn at home and the Phoenix Suns who have recently shut down several key players including Eric Bledsoe.

The final five games of the regular season could be interesting for Atlanta as they will face the Celtics, the Cavaliers twice, the Hornets before closing the regular season out against the Pacers.

Boston and Cleveland by that point could be resting players but the regular season finale against Indiana is worth keeping an eye on especially if Atlanta’s injury concerns linger over the final weeks.